7 Successful Social-Selling Strategies
The most effective way to engage with your customer now is through social selling online, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the most powerful tools available to help you do just that. The following strategies offer tangible steps you can take today to start incorporating social selling into your daily sales routine.
1. Create a customer-centric LinkedIn profile.
As a sales professional, you need to build a professional-looking LinkedIn profile and company page. It is the first impression your prospects get — did you raise their interest or did you turn them off? Most LinkedIn profiles are written in an employer-centric manner, meaning they were written to raise the interest of a potential new employer. This can be a huge turn-off for potential clients. Think about what your potential clients want and write your profile in a customer-centric manner. It’s simple: Your LinkedIn profile is not about you! It’s about what you can do for your prospect. If that prospect lands on your profile and understands how you can help him or her, you’re half-way through the door.
2. Determine who you want to help.
Have you precisely identified your target group? I’ve heard too many entrepreneurs tell me that “everyone is a potential customer.” That’s seven billion people — wow! Well, if you work in a B2B environment, then no, you don’t have seven billion prospects. You need to know exactly who you love to help the most so that you can address their specific needs in your communications. Whether they are financial professionals, graphic designers or commercial directors, make sure you mention that. Don’t say “I help people achieve…”, say “I help commercial directors achieve…”. If I’m a commercial director then it’s your job to make me feel welcome, to make me feel special, show me that you’re there to help me!
Pro Tip: Your headline is often the first thing people read. Think of it like a newspaper headline. In a newspaper you’re only going to read articles with headlines that raise your interest. Make your LinkedIn headline attractive for potential clients.
3. Build a strong network.
The old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is not quite accurate. You can have a network of 5,000 LinkedIn connections, but if they don’t know who you are, they’ll never become your ambassador. The saying should be: “It’s not what you know, it’s who knows you.” So, get active on LinkedIn and Sales Navigator. Engage with your top and recent updates and post relevant, helpful content to stay top of mind.
Pro Tip: If you’re a sales professional or an entrepreneur, I’ve discovered that the most powerful and manageable network size is between 1,500 and 2,500 connections. Slightly dependent on which industry you work in, this will give you access to about 1 million people with whom you share at least one mutual connection with. Can you see the power in that?
4. Become A.T.O.M.I.C.
Now that you have started to create a strong and professional LinkedIn profile, you know who you want help and know how to build a solid network, the next step is to ensure that you become A.T.O.M.I.C. or Always Top Of Mind In your Community. Every day, spend some time on LinkedIn to do some social listening, engage with your network, and provide value. Make sure to connect with influencers in your industry and regularly tag them or reach out to them with relevant content. They can potentially send massive amounts of traffic your way.
Pro Tip: If I myself tell you that I’m the very best in my industry, you’ll be skeptical, and rightfully so! But if someone you know tells you I’m the best person for the job, you’re nine times more likely to believe him or her. So, invest in your network; it is filled with your very best salespeople.
5. Collect, connect, and convert.
Once you have your systems in place and you’re becoming A.T.O.M.I.C., it’s time to actively start finding new clients on LinkedIn. How do you do that? It’s a simple three-step process. First, collect (find) your prospects on LinkedIn and actively start following and engaging with them. Then connect with them using mutual connections or interests. The final step is to convert the relationship into one that they know, like, and trust. That’s the easy part really. Just make sure you help first and sell later.
Pro Tip: Although you don’t need LinkedIn Sales Navigator to do this per se, using this tool will save you at least 30 minutes a day in your lead generation activities. That’s 10 hours a month! If you’re in B2B sales, there isn’t a more powerful tool on the market today.
6. Become an online influencer.
Without realizing it or admitting it, most people are experts in their line of work. They just feel uncomfortable using the term “expert” or “specialist” in their online communications. However, if you’re afraid to position yourself as an expert or specialist, you’re effectively choosing to under-represent yourself. Tell me, why should I choose you if you yourself do not believe in your own set of skills? Make the decision that you have something to bring, that you can enrich peoples’ lives, that you can make a difference. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Would you hire you?
Pro Tip: Being an expert does not yet make you an online influencer. That’s a whole new level and isn’t for everyone. But if you want to start attracting prospects on a daily basis, becoming an online influencer is one of the best ways. If you work in a B2B environment, start publishing articles on LinkedIn. A LinkedIn status update disappears quickly, whereas your articles are featured prominently on your LinkedIn profile forever. People can and will find your articles even a year later! Just make sure the content in your articles is valuable to your readers. Don’t be afraid to share your best tips; most competitors will be afraid to do so and that’s what makes you stand out as the go-to-person.
7. Be persistent.
Don’t put it off any longer! Jump on the bandwagon and start implementing these strategies. And be persistent! More sales are won by those who refuse to give up early. Be creative in your efforts and balance social selling, phone calls, emails, direct mail, and face-to-face selling. Start today!